Oct 9 – 13, 2022
FHNW Campus Brugg-Windisch
Europe/Zurich timezone

Diversity and Inclusion Session

The session at a glance

Diversity, Inclusion and Equity in the workplace

Diversity in the workplace refers to a workforce composed by individuals with various visible and/or invisible differences. Some common types of diversity include age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, religion. 

Diversity is a fact of life as well as a choice for a company. To fully reap the advantages of diversity, a company must put in place two additional strategies: inclusion and equity.

Inclusion and equity in the workplace refer to organizational practices, strategies and policies that allow people’s differences to coexist in a mutually beneficial manner. Examples include providing equal learning and evolution opportunities to individuals belonging to diverse groups. Companies are also called to act in a proactive manner to level the playing field for the less represented demographics. This includes actions such as removing institutional bias. 

Why it’s important to have Diversity, Inclusion and Equity in the workplace

Diversity, Inclusion and Equity in the workplace  D&I in the workplace is the ethical choice and should be a core value in every organization. 

It is also a choice good for business, as studies (ex: Juliet Bourke, Which Two Heads Are Better Than One? How Diverse Teams Create Breakthrough Ideas and Make Smarter Decisions, Australian Institute of Company Directors, 2016) show that organizations with inclusive culture have higher performances (3x), are more innovative and agile (6x) and can achieve better business outcome (8x). It can boost a company’s reputation and improve recruitment.


Why talking about D&I at the LLRF workshop?

As mentioned above, D&I is not only an ethical approach to work, it is also an enabler of technical excellence as it fosters creativity and innovation.

A rough evaluation of the diversity level present in LLRF workshops was obtained by considering only the “gender” diversity dimension in oral contributions. In fact, the “gender” dimensions is somehow easily obtainable. Owing to data privacy and lack of information, it was not possible to process data related to the general attendance of each workshop. 

The figure below shows the number of talks given at each LLRF workshops from male and female speakers. 

The talks considered included both invited and contributed talks. Lab talks, summary of other workshops and tutorials were included in the counting, as well as special subjects when technical and linked to the LLRF field. If the same speaker gave more than one talk at the same workshop, his/her contribution was counted as many times as the talks given. Opening or administrative remarks were not included, as well as industry presentations and speakers for this D&I session

The under-representation of female speakers is clearly visible. On average over all workshops, female speakers count for less than 6 % of talks. This percentage is slightly higher if calculated for workshops that took place in the US (8.4%) and lower for those located in Europe and Asia (4.5% and 4.1% respectively), although it’s not sure this can be statistically relevant. 

It is not unreasonable to assume that speaker gender distribution at LLRF workshops some-how reflects the diversity present in the RF group of each laboratory. 

For this reason, the hosts of this session strongly believe that this session has its place amongst more technical topics. And we’re not the only ones… over recent years, diversity and inclusion sessions – under various names – have been successfully hosted at technical (ex: International Particle Accelerator Conference IPAC, International Conference on Accelerator and Large Experimental Physics Control Systems, ICALEPCS) and physics (ex: International Conference on High Energy Physics, ICHEP) events. 

We actually hope that this initial session can set a trend and that anonymized D&I statistics on various diversity dimensions can be established at future workshops.



Session venue: Tuesday 11 October from 13:20 to 14:20 in the Aula Room. 


Session details: hosts

The session will be hosted by Larry Doolittle (LBNL), Maria Elena Angoletta (CERN), Melania Coletta (CERN), Melina Spycher (PSI) and Ruth Schmitt (FHNW).


Larry Doolittle, LBNL

Larry Doolittle is the convener and moderator of the session. He has used his strong background in math, engineering, and physics to innovate on LLRF projects for over 20 years. He has developed a huge appreciation for teams, how long it takes for them to develop, and how quickly they will dissipate if the funding or other institutional support fails.


Maria Elena Angoletta, CERN

Maria Elena Angoletta from CERN is the organizer of this session. She is a senior electronics engineer and digital processing expert with over 20 years experience in the field, who has faithfully attended most of the LLRF workshops. She is the project leader for several digital LLRF systems at CERN and for medical machines. She has been involved in CERN’s D&I effort since 2021. She is currently the D&I officer for CERN’s Systems department, which totals over 500 people and includes the RF group. 


Melania Coletta, CERN

Melania Coletta from the CERN D&I Programme is joining this session to share about their experience on gender inclusion. She is a Senior Fellow in Diversity and Inclusion, she joined CERN only 6 months ago, coming from the ECB in Frankfurt where she held a similar role. Overall, she proudly spent the last 3 years on this specific topic, and about 10 years in total on administration/HR-related topics. She is currently busy with the implementation of their first gender (and nationality) related strategy – the 25 by ’25 you will soon hear about-, among other diversity and inclusion related actions currently on-going at CERN.   

Link to CERN D&I program: https://diversity-and-inclusion.web.cern.ch/


Melina Spycher, PSI

Melina Spycher is here to talk about their diversity & inclusion strategies at Paul Scherrer Institute. She is a Psychologist by training and works as Expert for D&I at PSI, Empa as well as Eawag, three research institutes of the ETH Domain. She joined PSI in 2019 currently holding the ad interim position as head of the D&I competence centre PSI – Empa – Eawag. In the previous year she worked on psychological behaviour topics, as a HR specialist and deepened her knowledge regarding strategies and measure for a diverse and inclusive work environment. One of her main projects among others is a mentoring programme, of which you will soon her more about. 

Link to PSI D&I program: https://www.psi.ch/en/chancengleichheit


Ruth Schmitt, FHNW

Prof. Dr. Ruth Schmitt is head of education at the School of Engineering, FHNW, and in this function is responsible for the teaching programs since 2022. Her background is in business administration. In her previous work as a researcher and lecturer, she specialized in corporate social responsibility and stakeholder engagements. Her latest projects evolved around designing and implementing multi-stakeholder processes for renewable energy infrastructures or for the energy transmission at the community level. Her major current work as head of education, she is responsible for the revision of the school’s educational framework.

Link to FHNW D&I program: https://www.fhnw.ch/en/about-fhnw/diversity


Session details: participants

All LLRF22 participants and accompanying persons, as well as FHNW and PSI staff are invited to attend the session. 


Session details: organisation

The initial part of the session will focus on gender as a specific diversity dimensions. 

Presentations from CERN, PSI and FHNW will consider the question “Are gender strategies still a thing in 2022?” and will present strategies and measures under way in these three institutions.

Other diversity dimensions will be considered in the second part of the session, also depending on the participants’ interest. 

Participants will be able to answer two questions in a software questionnaire via a laptop or a smartphone, 


Participants will be able to interact with the hosts / speakers and to ask questions before/during the session by writing to the following email address: DandI.LLRF22@cern.ch . The email will be automatically forwarded to the hosting members of the session. To allow them to more easily screen these email, please start the title with “D&I SESSION LLRF22”


Contribution link: https://indico.psi.ch/event/12911/contributions/38439/